From reports by LBSU
Proving they have the mettle to win big games on the road, No. 23 Long Beach State defeated previously unbeaten Florida State (3-1) on the road, dropping the Seminoles 21-25, 28-26, 25-19, 16-25, 15-7. The 49ers were led by Quincy Verdin and Caitlin Ledoux, who each finished with 17 kills.
Long Beach State outhit the Seminoles on the night at .225 to .205 overall, and that edge showed up particularly in the final set as the 49ers pulled away. Long Beach State hit .160 with eight kills in the deciding set, while Florida State closed out the match with a negative mark of -.120, making only 2 kills opposed by five errors.
The 49er defense was balanced throughout, as the team had three players in double-figures in digs. Libero Iris Murray led the way with 21 digs, while Nicole Vargas added 17 with 52 assists and five kills. Vargas’ assist total also moved her into fourth-place on the career assist list at Long Beach State, passing Keri Nishimoto at 3,563.
Two early aces from Ashley Moon helped tilt the opening set in the favor of the Seminoles, as Florida State took an early 5-2 lead. That lead would eventually balloon to six points at 14-8, again behind a service ace from Jenna Romanelli, part of eight total aces for Florida State in the match. Long Beach State was able to claw back into the set behind a pair of kills from Ledoux along with a few Seminole errors. The Beach eventually cut the lead to one at 19-18, but Florida State responded by winning six of the next nine points to grab a 25-21 lead.
Improved hitting would help the 49ers win the second set of the match 28-26 as the team hit .250 in the match. Down two points early in the set at 5-3, the 49ers responded by taking their first significant lead of the match at 13-8 after more kills from Ledoux. Behind Brianna Barry, the Seminoles would eventually regain the lead at 16-15, and the closest set of the match would continue in that manner for the rest of the way, with six lead changes and fourteen tie scores. Long Beach State would hold onto the service advantage in the latter half, and held on for a 28-26 win on a pair of kills from Naomi Washington and Ledoux.
Capitalizing on the momentum from their set two win, the 49ers were in control throughout in set three, taking a 9-2 lead and easily holding on for a 25-19 set three victory. The 49ers hit a match-high .286 in the set, led by Washington who had three kills on three swings in the set.
Florida State answered back in the fourth set, winning as dominantly as the 49ers had in the third to bring the match to a deciding set. The 49ers had the answers in the fifth set, however, capitalizing on Seminole mistakes while making eight kills on their own.
Long Beach State has two more matches in Florida before returning to California. Heading to Gainesville, the 49ers will play Florida A&M in a neutral site match on Friday before closing out the trip with a match against No. 8 Florida at 2 p.m. Saturday.